The Chiefs went back to the top of the Super Rugby standings when they beat the Lions 34-21 with a bonus point in Pukekohe.
The victory is the Chiefs ninth consecutive win and the for the Lions it was their eight consecutive loss.
Despite the teams contrasting standings and fortunes in Super Rugby the Lions made the Chiefs work for their victory.
The Chiefs, who led 20-7 at half-time, outscored the struggling Lions four tries to three with fly-half Aaron Cruden contributing 19 points from a try, four conversions and two penalties.
The bonus-point win lifted the Chiefs to 44 points, two clear of the Bulls, who also earned a bonus point in their 41-35 victory over the Melbourne Rebels on Friday, with the Stormers a point further back.
In the first Super Rugby match at Pukekohe Stadium in 12 years, the Chiefs equalled their highest number of wins for a Super Rugby season - and they are only just past the halfway mark in the 2012 championship.
The two sides came into this match from vastly contrasting backgrounds.
The Chiefs lost their first game of the year and have gone unbeaten since while the Lions won their opener and have never again tasted victory.
But the Chiefs were made to work for their win and captain Craig Clarke admitted there were areas of concern in the way his side handled the pressure.
"We're pretty pleased that we scored a few tries and we did a few things, but there were a few lapses too which we will probably identify in our defence and we let them run a bit too much," he said.
The opening quarter was all Cruden as he chalked up 13 points from two penalties and a converted try.
Captain Clarke extended the lead to 20-0 running off a deft off-load from Sonny Bill Williams with Cruden adding the extras.
Despite facing the best defensive side in the competition, the Lions were determined to score five pointers rather than penalties and turned down three handy shots at goal before being rewarded with their first try.
From a penalty they kicked for the corner to set up a lineout drive from which replacement prop Cobus Grobbelaar bamboozled his way over.
The Chiefs were a whisker away from a third try on the stroke of half-time when fullback Andrew Horrell kicked through and a diving Lelia Masaga got a hand to the ball just as it rolled on to the deadball line.
But Masaga was not to be denied soon after the break when Cruden chipped ahead from inside his own half, regathered the ball and sent the flying winger over near the posts.
It started a period of tit-for-tat try scoring with Lions captain Joshua Strauss showing his strength as he scored from close range with three Chiefs clinging to him.
Brendon Leonard re-established the 20-point margin when he toed turnover ball over the line with Cruden again completing the formalities from wide out.
But the Lions were not finished and fought their way back for Grobbelaar to be rewarded with his second try, driving over from a lineout after turning down a shot at goal.
The Chiefs next week head to Brisbane to play defending champions the Reds while the Lions continue their New Zealand tour in a bottom-of-the-table clash with the Blues.
Final Score Chiefs 34 (20) Lions 21 (7)
Tries - A Cruden, C.Clarke, L Masaga, B Leonard
Pen - A Cruden 2
Con - A Cruden 4
Tries - C.Grobbelaar 2 , J Strauss
Con - E Jantjies 3
Referee: Ian Smith
Assistant Ref 1:Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 2:Grant Stuart
1. Toby Smith, 2. Hika Elliot, 3. Ben Tameifuna, 4. Craig Clarke (c), 5. Michael Fitzgerald, 6. Tanerau Latimer, 7. Sam Cane, 8. Kane Thompson, 9. Brendon Leonard, 10. Aaron Cruden, 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 13. Richard Kahui, 14. Lelia Masaga, 15. Andrew Horrell
Replacements: 16. Mahonri Schwalger, 17. Arizona Taumalolo, 18. Alex Bradley, 19. Scott Waldrom, 20. Tawera Kerr- Barlow, 21. Jackson Willison, 22. Maritino Nemani
15 Andries Coetzee , 14 Deon Van Rensburg , 13 Jaco Taute , 12 Alwyn Hollenbach , 11 Lionel Mapoe , 10 Elton Jantjies , 9 Ross Cronje , 8 Joshua Strauss (c) , 7 Grant Hattingh , 6 Derick Minnie , 5 Ruan Botha , 4 Franco Van der Merwe , 3 Patric Cilliers , 2 Callie Visagie , 1 Caylib Oosthuizen / JC Janse van Rensburg
Reserves:16 Martin Bezuidenhout , 17 CJ Van der Linde , 18 Cobus Grobbelaar , 19 Jaco Kriel , 20 Tian Meyer , 21 James Kamana , 22 Michael Killian